Brewery Vivant

BEER AVG
3.83/5
Brewery VivantBrewery Vivant
PLACE INFO

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

925 Cherry St SE
Grand Rapids, Michigan, 49506
United States

(616) 719-1604 | map
breweryvivant.com

Notes:
No notes at this time.

Added by abaculy on 01-18-2011

BEER STATS
Beers:
91
Reviews:
877
Ratings:
4,195
PLACE STATS
Score:
93
Reviews:
64
Ratings:
229
Avg:
4.2
pDev:
5.71%
 
 
Taps:
14
Bottles/Cans:
0
Cask:
N
Beer-to-Go:
Y
View: Beers | Place Reviews | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 64 | Ratings: 229
Reviews by GRPunk:
Photo of GRPunk
4/5  rDev -4.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

While I've been to this brewery many times and will continue to visit, this is such a difficult place to review. Like their beer, I find there are wild swings in the quality of their pub. While there are things they do extremely well, there's always something that just isn't up to snuff that offsets it.

Atmosphere is a perfect example of the swinging pendulum. As many have remarked, the structure itself is amazing. It's really cool how they've taken a building that's gone through many transformations to create the feel of a centuries old French/Belgian brewery. I'm even cool with the communal seating. That said, it is one of the loudest bars I've been to that isn't booming club mixes. The concrete/stone architecture and high ceilings mean conversational levels just bounce all over the place. Some friends said they are surveying whether they should bring in live acts. I don't see how that can go well. Coolness of the building does get a slight edge here.

Quality of the beer is a lot like the atmosphere. I've had some amazing brews that I wouldn't hesitate to drink again. Then, I've had some real "misses."

Service has always been quite good. There are always a ton of servers that tend to check up just enough that you aren't ever empty. Most have been pretty well versed in the taplist and profiles of what they are serving any given night.

Selection is quite good. Always have a nice combination of "regular" brews and a couple "one off" beers. Sometimes availability doesn't match the menu. Since it's marketed as a Belgian style brewery, you can't be disappointed that all of their beers have some sort of Belgian quality.

Haven't had the food, but it does look spectacular. I'm willing to re-review if I ever eat here.

This place is pricey. I can understand the premium pricing on some of their beers and you can get some deals with their "Monk Club." But, it's generally difficult to have a couple and make it out with a lighter wallet.

In the end, the things they do so well overcome most of the shortcomings. It's a good place to have a beer.

 2,074 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.75

The besf part of this visit was the young dude up front that was highly knowledgeable abou the beer. Great hospitality in which hebthrew in an extra beer with my flight. Had an amazing burger. Beer selection was very good in which BA BARLEYWINE WAS THE HIGHLIGHT. Easy to get to.

 283 characters

Photo of PhillyBoy23
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Photo of Cotton_27
4.41/5  rDev +5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Photo of MI_beerdrinker
4/5  rDev -4.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3.75

Photo of Spreetaper
4.16/5  rDev -1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

Photo of DougC123
4.51/5  rDev +7.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.75

Photo of deejaydan
4.46/5  rDev +6.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4 | food: 5

The vibe is cool, being in a chapel of an old funeral home, and it was the first LEED certified brewery. It is a bit loud though, just the acoustics, it can be hard to hear people at your table when it's busy. There's no TV, it's not a sportsbar. The Service by the waitstaff has always been great, front of house is usually okay, they sometimes seem distracted. Selection, well, they do have their mission, they are a Belgian Style brewery. You aren't really going to get a knock your socks off Imperial Stout or Double IPA or Lager here, but they know what they are, they have a vision, and they are doing a good job at making Belgians.

The food though.. That's where this place shines. The Burger is the one of the few burgers that they charge over $10 for, and it's actually worth it. Most of the menu does rotate around, seasonally, so don't be afraid to branch out, but what you love on one visit might not be there on your next visit. I had a beef shortrib sandwich there a few years ago that was amazing, but sadly, I haven't seen it back on the menu. Be aware though, they do tend to cook things on the cooler side of the doneness that you request. Outside of the high end steakhouses more towards downtown, I think this is probably the best restaurant in Grand Rapids.

 1,291 characters

Photo of chuckgietzen
3.86/5  rDev -8.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

Photo of seanchai
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

Photo of Beginner2
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25

I had an average first impression and that has changed 30 months ago when I had Vivant's Farmhouse ale. Prejudiced against cans, I didn't think much of their flagship ale and it didn't seem to go with lunch. It seemed like they hadn't figured out the Belgian thing, probably the yeast was eluding them.

Then five months ago, I bought a sampler box of 9, with 5 different cans. I had two nice beers and the others were good or good gifts. Maybe I had misjudged their quality... or they had gotten better.

Then this week, I went on a tour of Grand Rapids as part of national urbanist conference meeting in Detroit. I bought eight beers at their brewpub and have reviewed all but two.

I think what changed and has caused me to give an above average rating is Vivant's adventurous spirit. I also like that the brewpub adds to this neighborhood in an already very livable city.

I Had a taster of their flagship Farmhouse Ale at the bar, but couldn't stay for food as the bus would have left me. I will return.

 1,011 characters

Photo of jessewilliamson
4.61/5  rDev +9.8%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75

Photo of Bethaz83
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Photo of cadaugherty
3.81/5  rDev -9.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

Photo of Danielr26
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

Photo of teamwiggum
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.75

Photo of jpbolton
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.75

Photo of petersonmatt22
3.91/5  rDev -6.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of shivtim
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25

Photo of WesMantooth
3.5/5  rDev -16.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.25

Photo of Loudog1411
4.64/5  rDev +10.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Photo of Mightyspan
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I like the beers they make. Tasted 5 of 'em when they did the Tap Takeover @ Meat Southern BBQ. Glad they came thru. It was great to taste their hard work!

 155 characters

Photo of BLZR
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Photo of That_Bearded_Guy
4.07/5  rDev -3.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.75

Photo of MichaelCoyne
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Much different brewery than the norm. In an old church.Duck Nachos are a must. Get the Wizard Burial Ground if they have it on tap.

131 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Brewery Vivant in Grand Rapids, MI
3.83 out of 5 based on 4,195 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Subscribe